Who to root for in the World Series? Bear in mind, this is about who to root for, not who is actually going to win. That nugget of information comes Wednesday.
In all reality, in regards who to root for, this is a no brainer. With one exception, there is zero reason to root for anyone but Philadelphia. That exception first. Doesn't Joe Maddon, the Rays gregarious manager, seem like the kind of guy it would be good to have a couple of beers with? He would surely have several decent baseball stories for you.
Maddon proved himself a good 'in game', pressure manager in game seven, laying to rest doubts after the historic game five collapse. He will win AL manager of the year in a landslide, and, all things considered, deservedly so.
Maddon aside, Philadelphia have to be the team for Sox fans to root for in the 2008 World Series. Their lineup, their fan base, their history and their pitching are all reasons for the above statement.
Their lineup is littered with enjoyable-to-watch stars like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Pat 'the bat' Burrell. They will also be showcasing one of the brightest young pitching talents in the game in Cole Hamels.
Most glaring of all, Philadelphia needs this win for it's sporting fan base. The Rays? Let's just say they haven't exactly earned this as yet. That shiny new team merchandise you saw those 15 year old kids and 70 year old Grandparents wearing at 'the Trop' (can you believe they are going to hold series games at that monstrosity?) will be on show again. Endless shots of spotty faced Tampa teens sporting brand new Rays caps with the silver MLB merchandise label still shining bright on them, yeah that's a fan base alright.
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, I am not prepared to live in a world where people like BJ Upton, Jamie Navarro, Matt Garza or the arrogant, ignorant Aussie Grant Balfour are king. Maddon, Pena and Crawford certainly come across as classy guys, however those mentioned initially have a little bit of learning to do before they come across as anything but punk, spoilt, brash NBA star types.
Let's go Phillies.
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